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My colony, triumphs and troubles

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My colony, triumphs and troubles

Post Number:#1  Unread postby Lowstorm » Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:41 pm


So this is my formal introduction post I guess. Hi there!

I have (had) three big bunnies.
Buck- Sir Captain Overlord Nibbler (If you watch Futurama, you'd know. My kids named him) Nibs for short. Champagne D'Argent
Does- Alfalfa (Champagne D'Argent) and Clover (REW Flemish Giant)

They've been together since June of 2016. Not quite a year. They were in a 4x8 ft hutch/cage system. They did great, honestly. It was a pain to clean though as Nibs liked to use the outside boxes as a litter box.

They didn't breed until November, when they escaped. We call it the bunny break out. I have rather mediocre construction skills and they got out of one of the wire areas. That was fixed, but they were brought inside for a few days where it was warmer. New area=breeding time, apparently. Had babies during the coldest week of December, 12 kits EACH frozen. It was -20*f so I don't blame them. (Apparently that's -29ish in Celsius for all of us non American folks)

It warmed up in January. The weather's crazy here, I tell you. February 17th I had 2 more litters. Yes, the does are kindling at the same time! 9 born to Clover, 6 Alfalfa (1 stillborn). Clover was an idiot and stopped feeding her babies at a week, so I piled all the babies in with Alfalfa. Clover stopped being an idiot, and they both fed the entire litter. I lost 2 babies to starvation though. At 3.5 weeks I lost another little one to unknown causes, that being one of Alfalfa's. Total count is 11. They're completely weaned as of last week. I didn't know why.

Well, Monday they got new digs. I converted my shed over for them (and all the babies.) Its 10x10. Nice space, everyone seemed to like it. Except Tuesday morning I went out there and found kits. Clovers!. WTF, really?!?! Okay, back to back litters. I was put on alert, but left Nibs in there, as he never seemed to bother them much. I had to put them into the new improved nest box that I made Tuesday, but Clover didn't seem to mind. During all this Alfalfa was acting strange. Yup, litter number two. In a horrible spot. I did the same thing with her litter as I did with Clovers. But here's the caveat. 1) The babies from the previous litter were smothering the new babies. (grr, thats why I got new nest boxes, harder for the older babies to get in!) and Nibs was trying to.. yep, get her WHILE she was giving birth!

Sadly, she abandoned the litter entirely when I moved them into the new nest box. She's not the friendliest of bunnies in the first place, and with everything going on... She's a super momma though, and now both of them are taking care of Clover's litter.
Total babies today is 9. One's a runt, but it looks to be doing fine. I'm sure with two moms feeding them it'll catch up in no time.
10 dead ones. I threw them in the freezer and put an ad on craigslist for feeders.

Nibs is in his very own super sized 4x8 ft hutch now. I think I'm going to put a divider in and have 2 hutches, get another buck lol. I may try to reintroduce him in a month though. We'll see how it goes. I wasn't aware he rebred the girls so soon after kindling. But the babies also kinda look premie by a few days. Well, Clover's do. Alfalfas looked the right size.

So future plans! I plan on keeping 2 does of the half n half, since these guys are ment to be meat mutts. May eventually add something known for lighter bones to counteract the Flemish in them. But my Flemish is a 'small' Flemish, she's bigger but lighter than my Champagnes. Her babies are bigger than the purebred Champagnes though. Cute little guys.

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Re: My colony, triumphs and troubles

Post Number:#2  Unread postby KenoshaRabbits » Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:14 pm


Lowstorm wrote:I have (had) three big bunnies.
Buck- Sir Captain Overlord Nibbler (If you watch Futurama, you'd know. My kids named him) Nibs for short. Champagne D'Argent


Instead of "bunny berries" do you call them "dark matter"?

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Lowstorm

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Re: My colony, triumphs and troubles

Post Number:#3  Unread postby alforddm » Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:12 am


KenoshaRabbits wrote:
Lowstorm wrote:I have (had) three big bunnies.
Buck- Sir Captain Overlord Nibbler (If you watch Futurama, you'd know. My kids named him) Nibs for short. Champagne D'Argent


Instead of "bunny berries" do you call them "dark matter"?



:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: My colony, triumphs and troubles

Post Number:#4  Unread postby Lowstorm » Thu Mar 30, 2017 7:53 am


Lol I should but no. The kids just got to name him. The kids are both boys, 10 and 15. His poo isn't as big as Clovers. Her berries are ginormous sized.

__________ Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:53 am __________

So I was having issues with one of the does digging her food out. Raised the feeders and she stopped. Yay! Although she's wasted a lot of food until I read on here what to do.

The 6 week olds are so sweet. Kinda small I think though. They have unlimited hay and pellets so don't know what's up with that. I'll be taking pics to see what others think.

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Re: My colony, triumphs and troubles

Post Number:#5  Unread postby SarniaTricia » Thu Mar 30, 2017 12:57 pm


Lowstorm....
I think they all look small and cute until about 12 weeks old... then I just want them to put on weight, so I can eat them.... :lol:

Because you are colony, maybe add another feeder/water station... maybe inside something with smaller entrances?
I know competition for resources can get tough ... especially when you are little.
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Re: My colony, triumphs and troubles

Post Number:#6  Unread postby MaggieJ » Thu Mar 30, 2017 5:06 pm


MamaSheepdog uses kitty litter jugs on their sides as creep feeders/hideaways for kits. The opening is a perfect kit-size.

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Re: My colony, triumphs and troubles

Post Number:#7  Unread postby Lowstorm » Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:47 pm


Well, since I raised the feeders there's no issues. They're still smaller than I think they should be, but they're free fed. Some of them look perfect now. They're 6 weeks old as of yesterday. Its so fun to go out to the shed and play with the babies. YAY babies! lol. They grow in such spurts. For 2 weeks they were all small cute little bunnies. Then over the last 2 days they shot up just Crazily. Some outpace others.

I think I'm going to sell/eat all these ones and hold back from the next litter. Those ones are uniformly huge. They look like they swallowed golfballs at all times. Probably because two moms are feeding 8 of them. The runt though, still half the size of the others. So adorable! The other ones at this age were more spaced out size wise.

I'm sorta doubting I'll be at butchering size at 8 weeks. Likely 12 with this litter, and maybe 8 with the next. That would be nice! One day of butchering instead of 2.

__________ Fri May 12, 2017 6:10 pm __________

Butchered and processed 20 or so bunnies yesterday. Our champ does was done also. She ended up being horrid. She abandoned 2 litters in a row, and only 4 purebred have survived out of 30. Flemish turned into the good mother the past few months. I thought it was the champ. I was so wrong. Champ was nasty and wouldn't feed the last litter, they were all raised by the Flemish. So I kept back on purebred champ doe and one mutt. Oh, and runtie is still with us. Still tiny! I'm debating on trying her out on a dwarf buck. Oh yeah, dwarfie is a girl.

So anyway my boyfriend, my father, my 11 year old and I got 20 done in an hour and a half. No skins were saved, my dad taught us the old fashioned way. Hammer to the head, cut it off quick ( within 5 seconds) then feet, skinning, guts, done. Hopefully that's not too graphic. We feel confident enough to get it done next time!

Now I'm on the hunt for a couple of good knives for my house.

__________ Sun Jul 02, 2017 3:51 pm __________

Update time again. I was talking to my bf yesterday about getting some colored buns for the colony. Then today... Free buns! One's a French lop, the other is a mix of lop and what looks like a rex. I don't even know if they're does or Buck's! Lol but does mean straight in after a quarantine, bucks mean separated. Plus we're butchering another 8 buns tonight. The flem has become a great producer. She did miscarry yesterday... thankfully. She was preggo cause my kids felt bad for the buck, he was separated...

If one of these two is a buck I'll sell Mr nibbler or he'll be processed. If they're both bucks it'll be interesting and one may end up being processed right along with the others.

__________ Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:47 pm __________

Way late update. The bedding I've been using is great but dusty. And the buns love to dig in it, creating more dust.

So of my original trio I only have nibbler now. Sold clover today, ate alfalfa. Alfalfa Junior has a growing litter of 8! They're a month old now. She's raised them perfectly. Better than her momma ever did and she did it all on her own. She's not the friendliest bunny in the world but she's getting the job done.

The two new girls have integrated well. Plan on baby shots soon. They're NOT lops of any sort. Rex mutts. But they're both broken with good meat mutt structure. Perfect! So my new direction is going to be spotted silvers

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